The first chapter of James is like trying to drink out of a fire hydrant with a straw. It’s like James was afraid he’d run out of time so he decided to pack all of his thoughts into the first section. Faith, perseverance. Wisdom, doubt. Social status, longevity. Temptation, sin, death. God’s generosity. Anger management. Taking action in God’s word. Taming the tongue. True religion. What am I to take away from all this? Perhaps he was so scattered because he was writing to such a scattered audience—twelve tribes of Jewish believers with their own unique and individual problems.
Every time I’ve read through this chapter, I’ve gleaned something fresh from it. A different aspect connects with a different part of my life at that time. I’m sure every time I’ve read it, I’ve been living out of one those twelve tribes different tribulations.
This time, my mind snagged on this theme of God’s lavish generosity. Coming up on a season of giving, I am suddenly aware of how my small my most prized gift this year will pale in comparison to God’s unshackled blessing.
“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.” (v. 17-18, NLT)
I can’t get over the multitude of God’s gift. In wisdom, He created us. In love, He allowed us fall. In mercy, He sent His beloved son to atone for our mistakes. In grace, He daily offers His presence by His spirit to renew and free us from sin. He gave His true word. And ultimately, gifted Him to make us His prized possession. Wow.
Jesus, I am amazed by your goodness. I am overwhelmed by your generosity. Help to me to more fully comprehend the depth of your grace and presence in my life in a fresh way.